Late submission of coursework

If life has conspired against you to prevent you from meeting an essay deadline don’t despair, the University has a late submission policy that may be able to grant you an extension.

The University policy for taught students on late submission of coursework can be found in section 16.25 onwards of the Code of Assessment, which is part of the University Regulations (formerly known as the University Calendar).

If you hand in your work late, without a good reason for doing so, your mark will be reduced by two secondary bands for each day late. Anything over five days late gets an ‘H’ (i.e. zero marks).  Anything handed in after feedback has been given to the class on that assignment also gets an ‘H’ (zero).

Example: Emma’s essay would have been worth a B3. However it’s two days late and she doesn’t state a good reason why. Therefore her mark is reduced by four secondary bands, giving her a D1.

Part days count as full days – for example:  Your essay is due on Wednesday at 5 pm.  You hand it in on Friday at lunchtime – a day and a half over time.  This counts as two days late, so would normally be penalised by four secondary bands in total.

If you do have a good reason why you can’t hand work in on time, then try to ask for an extension before the deadline if you possibly can. There are a couple of different rules, depending on the severity of the situation and how late you are in submitting the work.

Up to 5 days

Your course convenor has the power to give an extension of up to five days without any late penalties being applied to your work, provided you have a reasonable basis for needing the extension.

If you were unable to ask for an extension beforehand (because of whatever the circumstances are that are making you late with the work) then it’s still worth bringing your circumstances to the attention of your course convenor as they may still exempt you from the late penalties.

More than 5 days

If you need longer than five days then you will need to apply under the ‘good cause’ rules. These are also in the Code of Assessment. There is no definitive list of what constitutes ‘good cause’, but things like being ill or injured, or other exceptional circumstances such as a death in the family are likely to be included. If you can establish ‘good cause’ for your late submission then the late penalties can be waived. See also the Student Absence Policy , and this handy flowchart guide to whether an Absence Report or Good Cause Claim is needed.  The University has also produced some helpful Good Cause FAQs.


If you disagree with your School’s decision about late penalties, you have the right to appeal. Please see our page on appeals for further information about this.


If you have any questions please feel free to contact the SRC Advice Centre.